POWELL RIVER, B.C. – An annual bike ride to support programs by the Canadian Cancer Society gets underway in September.

However, riders are currently preparing themselves for this year’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast.

The tour is an 800-kilometre tour of the Sea to Sky Corridor, the Sunshine Coast, North Shore and cities in Greater Vancouver. It runs in conjunction with Vancouver Island’s Tour de Rock.

The event raises funds through the Cops for Cancer initiative that help send kids to Camp Goodtimes. The camp provides a safe, medically supervised space and experience for youth battling cancer and their families.

“You can’t find too many people that haven’t been touched by cancer,” said Pete Gaiger, the rider representing the Powel River RCMP this year.

Gaiger has been serving with the local detachment for the last ten months.

“The fundraising initiative here is for research on children’s cancer, and to support children’s programs for children who have cancer,” he said.

“I personally have been affected in my life with family and friends of mine who have suffered from cancer, so it’s been a very difficult thing to watch people go through, and loving kids and wanting to give back to the community and raise money for a very good cause is what’s motivating me this year.”

Gaiger said he isn’t training on the bike just yet, as he’s recovering from a broken ankle, but is hopeful to start training as the summer comes along.

He noted that last year’s RCMP rider, Trevor Busch, has offered some words of wisdom for this year’s event.

“Trevor is very supportive, as are all the alumni at the detachment here, and people I have spoken to that have done the rides in various capacities before. Everyone is behind me, rooting for me and helping me along the way,” he said.

The 2018 Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast is September 19 to 27, 2018. More information on the event can be found via this link.